10 Outdoor Plants That Look Like Palm Trees

by Alex Kountry
Updated on

Having plants in your outdoor space gives your space a relaxing and classy appearance. A lot of people are fans of palm trees as outdoor plants. Unfortunately, palm trees do not grow in all areas.

If it doesn’t grow in your area, you don’t have to worry because other plants can mimic the look of a palm tree. This article will go over 10 outdoor plants that resemble palm trees. So grab a drink and keep reading.

10 Outdoor Plants That Look Like Palm Trees 

1. Crane Flower 

The crane flower also known as the bird of paradise is a perfect substitute for a palm tree plant. This plant has long leaves that are green in color, just like the leaves of a palm tree.

However, its leaves are a little bit shorter than that of a palm tree leaf. This plant has beautiful flowers that can either be red, orange, or yellow.

This plant is a perfect fit for gardens, outdoor flower vases, and so on. It can be used as a decorative indoor plant as well.

If you reside in South Africa, then you wouldn’t struggle to find this plant because it is a native of South Africa.

This plant thrives best in warm climates with partial exposure to sunlight.

The leaves of this plant tend to be longer and larger when exposed to partial sunlight while those exposed to full sunlight tend to have short and smaller leaves.

2. Dragon Tree 

The dragon tree is the small version of a palm tree. It has slender long leaves that would give your space an exceptional look.

It has sword-like leaves with red edges. This plant is perfect for both outdoor and indoor use.

It would fit perfectly into your balcony, front yard, garden, and indoor tables.

This decorative plant is a native of southwestern Europe, the Canary Islands, Morocco, Western Africa, and Cape Verde.

With the dragon tree, you wouldn’t have to stress over maintenance, this is because it is a low-maintenance plant.

It doesn’t require regular watering, and pruning, furthermore, it is also drought resistant. And it thrives in both partial and full sunlight exposure.

Here is an article I wrote on plants that eat fruit flies

3. Banana Tree

This palm tree-looking plant is mostly seen in gardens and farms. However, it can be potted and used as an outdoor decor as well.

This plant has long broad leaves that are very similar to that of a palm tree. The banana tree is a fast-growing plant, known for its broad green clustered, cylindrical leaves.

This plant is mostly predominant in Southern Asia, Australia, and Africa. They thrive best in an acidic well-drained loamy soil.

They prefer full sunlight exposure to grow optimally. The banana tree plant isn’t a low-maintenance plant. It requires frequent watering now and then.

4. Cardboard Palm 

This plant has thin, papery leaves, which is why it is called cardboard palm. Its pinnate leaves are composed of several leaflets.

The leaves are oval-shaped and bright green.

This plant is perfect for your outdoor gardens. It has a palm tree-like look which gives your outdoor space elegance.

The slow-growing plant is relatively easy to manage. It is drought-resistant, requires minimal water, and doesn’t require frequent pruning.

If you reside in Central America and Mexico this plant is a good option for you. Typically, the banana plant thrives best in both full and partial sunlight exposure.

It prefers humid and dry environments; exposure to cold temperatures can destroy this plant.

5. Madagascar Palm 

The Madagascar palm as the name implies is a native of Madagascar Island. This plant has long leathery green leaves, with an amazing fragrance.

Searching for a plant that isn’t soil selective? The Madagascar palm is your best bet; it can practically thrive on any soil type.

This plant brings an exclusive look to your outdoor space.

This plant is great for beginner gardeners and farmers because it is very easy to maintain.

It is best described as a low-maintenance plant that requires minimal watering and pruning.

This plant thrives in partial or full sunlight exposure. Note that this plant isn’t safe for consumption; its fruit is considered toxic to both men and pets.

It also has sharp thorns which are why they are considered better outdoor plants than indoor.

6. Vulcan Palm

The Vulcan palm has a thick trunk and tiny shiny leaves. This plant is usually six meters in height; it looks like a mini palm tree.

This native Hawaii plant is perfect for outdoor and indoor purposes.

This plant is very stress-free, it requires little watering and it doesn’t grow large enough to require excessive pruning.

Partial sunlight exposure is best for this plant to thrive. A well-drained loamy or sandy soil to grow also guarantees effective growth.

This plant is also cold hardy; it thrives very well in cold weather conditions.

Also check out this article I wrote on 10 plants for balcony railings

7. Gum Palm 

Gum palm is native to Central America and Mexico. This palm tree-like plant usually grows up to 12m high. The leaves of this plant are pinnately arranged.

Each leaf contains about 20 or more leaflets. This plant is décor-friendly, and it can completely use change the look of your outdoor space.

This plant isn’t considered a low-maintenance plant; however, it is not a stressful plant to manage.

It requires minimal but frequent watering; it also requires pruning once in a while. Ensure you don’t overwater them because their roots are susceptible to rot due to excess watering.

Being an evergreen plant, this plant requires full sun or partial shade and well-drained soil to grow properly. 

8. Ponytail palm 

The ponytail palm as the name suggests is shaped like a ponytail. This plant has a domed that is large and its leaves are long and slender.

The amazing thing about this plant is the cozy feel it brings to any outdoor space.

This plant is native to Central America and Mexico. For optimum growth, provide this plant with partial and full sunlight.

Interestingly, the ponytail palm is super easy to manage; it is drought resistant and requires pruning at least annually.

9. Traveler Palm 

The traveler palm is also a native of Madagascar. It has a lot of similarities with the banana tree, but it has a distinctive peacock tail shape.

The leaves are elongated and broad.

This plant is usually on the large side which is why they are best used outdoors. The fast-growing isn’t stressful to manage; little watering and pruning keep it healthy and neat.

Since it requires little effort to cultivate, it is perfect for new farmers and gardeners.

10. Sago Palm 

The Sago palm is a perfect choice for your outdoor decor. They give your space a different, relaxing look when potted.

You should find this plant easily if you stay around the Taiwan region.

The leaves of this plant are pinnately arranged with about 30-40 leaflets on each leave. This plant is slow-growing, so you would need a lot of patience to cultivate this plant.

The sago palm needs partial and full sunlight exposure for fast and effective growth.


Palm trees are beautiful plants to place in your outdoor space. However, this plant can’t be found in every region.

This article provides you with the best palm tree alternatives. The listed plants appear and give your space the palm tree feel.

They also bring life and elegance to any outdoor space.

Furthermore, most palm tree alternatives are simple to care for. This makes them a good plant to have around because they require little effort to keep.

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About the author

Alex Kountry

Alex Kountry is the founder of HayFarmGuy and has been a backyard farmer for over 10 years. Since then he has decided to write helpful articles that will help you become a better backyard farmer and know what to do. He also loves to play tennis and read books


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